Let's talk old weed. Is it bad for you?
There’s no such thing as too much weed. Well, unless you’re not smoking it, and it starts to degrade over time. Then, it’s a straight-up waste.
Whether you’re wondering if that stash jar in your closet is still good or if you’ve found mold on your buds, we’ll help you figure out if it’s smokeable and, more importantly, safe to consume.
See below for more information about if cannabis expires, how to tell if weed has gone bad, the dangers of smoking moldy weed, and how to spot mold before sparking up.
Cannabis doesn’t really have a best-before date. After all, part of the curing process is to bring out the aromas and flavors by storing buds in an airtight container for about three weeks. While buds are at their best once they’ve been sitting in a jar for nearly a month, when do they start to go bad?
The general rule of thumb is to avoid smoking weed that’s about 6-12 months old. Anywhere after a year, your buds have probably gone bad. That said, old cannabis flower isn’t particularly dangerous unless it’s grown mold, which we’ll touch on below.
Old cannabis flower is usually safe to smoke, but it’s likely not worth your time. That’s because the cannabinoids in flower, like THC and CBD, degrade over time and become much less potent. Old cannabis rarely produces the familiar psychoactive effects of weed we know and love.
Before you spark up your old bud, see below for more crucial information.
As mentioned, cannabis flower that’s been stored properly doesn’t really go “bad,” but it loses its potency and aromas. On the other hand, if flower isn’t stored properly, it can become dangerous to smoke.
The most common indicators of old weed are the following:
While it’s not necessarily dangerous to smoke old weed with the above characteristics, it won’t do you any good. The terpenes and cannabinoids have degraded, and the result is an unpleasant smoking experience.
However, one crucial aspect of old weed should always be considered: mold. This is the only dangerous thing about old weed that can seriously hinder your health.
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. So much so that these individuals have allergies to mold, which can seriously put their health at risk.
Smoking moldy weed can increase:
See below for the most common indicators of moldy weed.
Color: Moldy cannabis can present itself through a variety of visual indicators. First and foremost, if your weed has a grey-white coating that’s either fuzzy or powdery, it’s gone moldy. Don’t get mold confused with trichomes, which are the resinous shimmering and transparent crystals that contain THC. Instead, stay on the lookout for white-grey specks and fuzz.
Aroma: Besides its visual appearance, the first thing you’ll notice about your buds is their off smell. Most of us have smelled mold before. That musty, mildewy, and unpleasant aroma is one of the biggest indicators of moldy weed. If your buds don’t smell like their noted fragrances (e.g., floral, diesel, earthy, pine, etc.), but they do smell musty, they’re probably moldy.
It’s A-OK to smoke old weed as long as it hasn’t gone moldy. However, smoking weed that’s about a year old won’t produce the effects you desire.
Cannabinoids in cannabis degrade and break down over time, so, sadly, your best bet is to toss the stash. This is especially true (and also a no-brainer) if your weed has gone moldy.
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